Permissions needed to open mounted USB device?

Odd one here. I can mount my wife’s Sony Xperia phone as an MTP device over USB, and open the DCIM folder on the external SD card (and copy stuff over). Two icons appear in the folder structure, one for the internal memory and one for the external SD card, as I would expect.

However my wife, who has a separate user account, can mount the device and see the icons on her desktop, but not view the contents. She gets an error message "unrecognised filetype (or some message to that effect) when she tries to double-click on the icon on her desktop, or open it in the Files utility.

I have added her account to the sys group, but with no improvement.

Is this a permissions issue? Can anyone help?

I also find that I can only copy a few files over to the hard drive at a time. If I try to copy more than a dozen or so, the copy process hangs. Is this a bug? (It seems to be the same whether I use the Files utility or cp in a shell.)


Please, please, allways tell which version of openSUSE you are using. And which desktop environment.

And when you tthink you have a permission problem, you should look at the permissions of that file/directory to check that and when asking here, you should post that

ls -l <that/those/files/directories>

Removable media is handled by udev, udisks, and the desktop environment, and not usually shared concurrently by multiple users, (although this should be possible to circumvent). In addition, I note you refer to an MTP device, and there is some ‘wizardry’ involved to make these devices appear like storage devices by the desktop file managers involved. MTP devices do not actually get mounted as such. As a result, you may have run into one or more quirks of the underlying protocol (and libraries) involved.

In my experience these problems arise if a user does not unmount the device (which may simply mean taking it out) before logging out; the device then remains assigned to the user who last mounted it.

Sorry, I overlooked that. I’m ashamed because I repeatedly tell people at work exactly the same thing and it drives me up the wall when they don’t! :frowning:

OpenSuse 12.3 with the out of the box Gnome DTE.

My question was really: is this known to be a permissions thing, or is it something else (usb driver or whatever)?

Thanks. I’m not sure this is the solution but I’ll be careful to observe it in future, if only to eliminate it as a factor.

But as you mentioned this relates to a MTP device, rather than storage media, there may be other issues or limitations at play. For example, my iPhone is detected as a camera (kio-kamera) and as a MTP device (kio-mtp), but only the former protocol seems to work with viewing files, and I can’t write or upload to the device. I haven’t bothered to check this behaviour further.